Cologne 2016 – Champions

Congratulations to SK Gaming on winning the The ESL One Cologne 2016 Championship! They take home $500,000 of the $1,000,000 prize pool. This is their second consecutive Major title.

SK Gaming won the best of three against Team Liquid, winning on Train(16-7) and then on Cobblestone(16-6). If you missed any of the matches or want to watch the highlights, you can download all the games from the ESL 2016 tab in the WATCH menu.

We’d like to thank all the teams, everyone at ESL, and most of all the Counter-Strike community for making this tournament possible.

Cologne 2016 – Finals

Two teams remain. Team Liquid have fought their way through to make it to the Finals for the first time. They will take on SK Gaming whose players are looking to repeat their win at the last Major. Watch on Twitch as they compete for their share of the $1,000,000 prize pool and the title of CS:GO Major Champion in the sold out LANXESS arena. The grand final starts at 5:00 PM CEST(8:00 AM PST).

Cologne 2016 – Group Stage

The best CS:GO teams face-off at ESL Cologne 2016. Kick-off is at 2:00am PST (11:00am CEST).

While you’re watching ESL Cologne 2016, you’ll have a chance to receive a souvenir package commemorating the event. Each souvenir features a weapon from the collection of the map being played, golden stickers of the teams who were playing, and a golden signature of the MVP from the round where the souvenir dropped.

To be eligible for a souvenir package, all you have to do is watch the event. If you’re watching in GOTV or in the main menu, you’ll automatically be eligible for souvenirs. If you’re watching on an official Twitch stream, make sure you link your Steam account!

And don’t forget, you can support your favorite players and teams by purchasing ESL Cologne 2016 team stickers or autograph capsules. 50% of sticker proceeds go directly to the players and organizations. You can also use the stickers to make your picks for the Pick’Em Challenge and Fantasy Team Game each day for your chance at this event’s trophies!

Cologne 2016 – Tournament Stickers

ESL Cologne 2016 is fast approaching, and it’s time to support your favorite teams and players!

Team stickers and stickers autographed by professional CS:GO players are now available for purchase in-game, or from the Steam Community Market, with 50% of the proceeds going to players and organizations.

Stickers can be placed on your weapons to show support for your favorite player or team, and they can be used as game pieces in one of the two Cologne 2016 tournament games: the Fantasy Team Game, and the Pick’Em Challenge.

With just over a week to go, the Legends and Challengers are making their final preparations. Clear your schedule and get ready for ESL One Cologne 2016!

Gamma Exposure

Today’s update includes some new sounds, the Gamma Case (featuring community designs and knives with the all-new Gamma finishes), and adjustments to the Prime Account Matchmaking beta.

In addition, we’re extending Operation Wildfire for one month so you’ve still got time to finish up your missions and upgrade your Challenge Coin!

Prime Account Matchmaking Beta

Over the past few weeks we’ve been running tests in the Prime Account Matchmaking beta and today we’re making a couple of adjustments.

First, we’re changing the eligibility requirements. In order to qualify for an upgrade to Prime Status you still need a qualifying phone number, but you’ll also need to reach Lieutenant Rank 21. If you were previously upgraded to Prime and have lost that status, all you have to do is continue to play and earn XP.

If your account has Prime status, you may notice a new option when you queue for a match. You can now choose whether matchmaking will exclusively search for Prime matches, or instead prioritize Prime matches and allow non-Prime matches after queuing for a while.

Additionally, new CS:GO players will receive an XP boost as they progress through the Recruit and Private ranks, and will gain access to competitive matchmaking sooner, when they reach Private Rank 2.

Sounds Good

Today we’re shipping the first in a series of planned updates to sound in CS:GO. The goal of these updates is to improve overall sound quality while addressing feedback about ear fatigue and distortion.

We’ve started with a few weapons in the Heavy category (specifically the Negev, M249, and Mag7), and will progress through the rest of the arsenal over time. Additionally, the smoke grenade sound has been reworked to ensure that it can be heard separately from other game sounds (e.g., defuse sounds).

Have a listen, and let us know what you think!